Being Railroaded

Editor, News-Register:

I am a concerned St. Clairsville resident who feels that we are being railroaded into giving up control of our water system by members of our local government.

Aqua Water Systems from the Youngstown area was the lone bidder when our city manager advertised for bids to take over our antiquated system. Our city manager did not do his due diligence and rebid the project to see if there were any others willing to reconsider bidding before trying to jam this down our throats. Nor, did he listen to the residents of our city for whom he works.

While attending a rally on July 15th certain council members spoke of their willingness to listen to the citizen’s concerns about privatizing our public water system. Our mayor also appeared but stated, “I will not answer any questions.” This is the person who was elected by the people to serve the people. This was strictly a photo op stunt. It appears that the only people he wants to serve are the city manager and Aqua Systems.

Privatizing our water system is a bad idea. The system needs upgrading but let the residents decide what and how to fund these upgrades. Aqua Water Systems is a private entity that is strictly a business. They are not answerable to anybody but their corporate shareholders; not the citizens of St. Clairsville.

Taking a public utility out of the hands of the public and turning it over to a private entity is financial suicide. They can fix what they want, when they want and charge what they want. There is no input by the paying public.

The sooner our elected officials realize that they are elected by the people for the people the better off we will be. The only statement the Mayor made to us was that “nobody has come to his office to voice their opinion”. I say we line up and flood his office with our concerns. We need to keep control of the water system in our own hands and not let corporate invaders take over. They do not care about us residents. Their only concern is their bottom line.

Frank Papini

St. Clairsville

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